Owning something is probably the easiest way to becoming wealthy.
Consider rich business people through history such as the Carnegies, Rockefellers, and Henry Ford. Okay, let’s look at people from more recent times: Bill Gates. Elon Musk. Jeff Bezos. These are entrepreneurs that are globally known because they own businesses that are extremely successful. While they may represent the top 1% of ‘globally known’ entrepreneurs, the reason why I point them out is that they are extremely wealthy due to owning businesses.
This blog is pondering the question: How do I register my business so that it can become a legacy for me, something that I own uniquely? You want to set up your business as a legal entity in order to have a legacy. These are the steps to take:
- Decide on the legal entity that you want for your business: Legal entity simply means business structure. There are several kinds – Sole proprietorship, General partnership, Limited Partnership, Limited Liability Company, Corporation. I would recommend steering clear of sole proprietorship and general partnership business structures because these type of business structures do not protect you if something were to go wrong with the business and you suddenly find yourself in financial trouble. You would be responsible for paying for all the financial issues out of pocket, whether or not you have the personal funds for it. On the other hand, if you registered your business as a limited partnership or LLC or corporation, you would be protected if a financial problem arose. These types of businesses are known as ‘legal entities.’ This means that they are treated like persons. They are considered as completely separate from you, the business owner. Therefore, since such types of businesses are their own person, if they get into debt, it would have to deal with the debt itself, and leave you out of it. After all, if, for instance, your cousin got into financial trouble and had to file for bankruptcy, his or her bankruptcy would not affect you since you are 2 different people with 2 different credit files, right? Consider the legal entity business structure as your cousin, then. The business structure is a different person from you. For instance, when it has financial problems, it is not your credit that will be affected. The business structure would ‘absorb’ any financial issues that arise and you would not have to pay for anything out of your own personal funds.
- Choose a unique business name: This is the key to choosing a business name, now that you have hopefully decided on the business structure that you want (see point #1). I emphasize ‘unique’ business name for one key reason: You want a name that makes you stand out around your competitors. For instance, Apple Computers was very strategic in picking a business name for themselves. They registered their business using a ‘arbitrary trademark. It is fanciful because the name Apple has no logical relationship whatsoever to computers. Therefore, how many competitors in the computer industry would have been able to come up with the name “Apple” for their own businesses when no one is thinking of apples when they think about computers? Therefore, Apple computers carved a unique place for itself in the market place by picking a name that no one else would have really thought of in the computer industry. To pick your own business name, I would recommend using this trademark strategy. For more about using trademarks to create a brand for your business that makes you unique, I would recommend visiting the blog: How to create a brand for your writing. This will provide you with more tips about how to use trademarks to strategically position your business in the market.
- Before you release it, copyright, trademark or patent it: I cannot over-emphasize this. It is especially important if you are a writer. If you have a product or service that you are about to send out into the market, I highly recommend that you register that product or service with the copyright or patent registration authorities in your country before sending it out into the big world. You want to preserve your unique creation as something you thought about and created, without the danger of copycats taking it from you. For more on this, see the blog about branding your business products and services. For content like YouTube videos, since it is not feasible to send a registration application to the copyright office every time you create a video, I would recommend using a watermark or some identifying mark somewhere on your video that would prevent content pirates from taking it and appropriating as their own.
- Be visible: Gone are the days when the book store by the corner could get by with hoping customers would walk by and notice it. While this still happens, and a bookstore or other business may receive walk in customers, it is well known that having a more proactive visibility plan is the best option for quickly establishing your business in the community. I speak of none other than online marketing. There are several books available that teach about how to become successful on various social media platforms, and discover new customers. Check out books like One Million Followers.
- Become your brand: In order to be a legacy in the business filed you have chosen, you need to become an authority in what you are selling. For instance, Jeff Bezos is an authority in the online marketplace space. This means that if you are selling advise, or products, or services of any kind to your clients, you need to have been the guinea pig trying those products and services on yourself first before selling it to others. In essence, you saw a problem around you, you found a solution by applying it to your self, and now, you are selling that solution to others.
These are the 5 steps that will get you on your way to establishing a business legacy. Type in the comments below to flaunt the steps that you are currently taking, or whether you are already doing any one of these listed here.